IDEA: Tambourines as a canvas.
WHAT: Tambourines are reshaped with built extensions and painted affixed to shaped canvases, with their interplay of round and straight edges creating an optically vivid whole. These tambourine pieces may arguably reference the body, albeit obliquely. Sometimes the title lends a poetic flavor to the work, for example, a piece with a tambourine painted half black and half white, suggestive of a half-moon, is called ‘Either Side Of The Night’.
WHY: Lee’s reconstructed tambourines reverberate scale and depth. Built up with basswood and paint on the instrument’s skin-like surface, they address containment and the deliberate withholding of the object’s usage. Lee’s tambourines favour the ardent possibilities found in the image – with color, line and space, and a blissful sense of liberating something from its inherent content.
BY: Paul Lee
“I call these ‘touch paintings’ because tambourines are activated by touch. The first tambourines I made had rectangles on them, and I thought of them as being like touch screens. The touch screen is part of our daily life, you can touch an image and it can lead you to another. The image becomes a path. It’s a visual space that becomes active in a new way. I think it is a new space for painting to happen” – Paul Lee